Ms. Agnes Callamard
On 28 March, Ms. Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions made a strong public statement that “Saudi Arabia’s closed-door trials of those accused of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi have thus far fallen short of meeting international standards” and called for public trials of accused killers in Saudi Arabia.
The journalist of Washington Post, Mr. Khashoggi, Saudi dissident, was arbitrarily killed in Saudi consulate office in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. Reportedly, the investigation of his murder resulted in detention of 21 individuals, out of which eleven accused persons are facing trial. However, the Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties is seriously concerned that the prosecution and trial are not conducted in compliance with international human rights standards. The victim’s family have a right for effective remedy. The Saudi government should ensure transparent and impartial judicial process.
Thus, we join the calls of the Special Rapporteur Callamard for public trial of the accused killers in compliance with international commitments of Saudi Arabia of due process. The identities of the accused person and their connection to the government should be disclosed. We doubt procedural fairness of the current prosecution. Closed doors proceedings are not acceptable in the case of Khashoggi. The trials should be transparent, and the Saudi government should grant full access of public and international observers to these proceedings.
Hereby, we call on the Saudi government to comply with its international obligations in accordance with international law regarding the investigation of the Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance and death. Moreover, we insist that Saudi Arabia ensure respect for the request of the Special Rapporteur Callamard for country visit and immediately take measures to provide her with access to the independent monitoring of the situation in the country, including the Khashoggi case.
• “Khashoggi case: UN expert calls for public trials of accused killers in Saudi Arabia”, Geneva, 28 March 2019 at: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24421&LangID=E
• “Pompeo meets with Khalid bin Salman despite backlash over Khashoggi murder”, 28 March 2019 at: https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/pompeo-meets-khalid-bin-salman-despite-backlash-over-khashoggi-murder